A Buyer’s Checklist of What to Look for in a New House

A Buyer's Checklist of What to Look for in a New House

Buying a new home is an exciting and stressful time. It’s easy to miss or forget certain aspects of the home that you should look into. Here is a checklist you should follow when looking at a new home to buy.

1. Age and Condition of the Roof

Roof repairs and replacements can sometimes be as expensive as a downpayment on a house. Can you afford to repair the roof in the next few years? Take the time to have an inspector check out the roof. They’ll be able to tell you the condition of the roof and estimate when you may need some work.

You can also ask the owner about the last time they had roof work done.

Finally, you can inspect the roof yourself by looking for signs of water damage on the walls. If possible, access the attic and look at the walls and floor. If you see stains, then it may indicate a roof leak.

2. Septic Tank Pump

For homes that have a septic tank, it’s vital that you know when the last time it was pumped. The owner should pump it before turning the keys over. It’s also important to know how old the tank and drain field is. At some point, the drain field will become saturated.

If you don’t have enough room in the yard to create a new drain field, then you could be in trouble. You’ll need the septic company to regularly empty out your tank to prevent flooding.

Septic tanks and drain fields can also be extremely expensive. It’s wise to know how many years you have before you need to make an investment.

3. Property Lines

No matter what size the home, you should always investigate the property line. Where does your property start and stop exactly? This information can be useful if you ever plan on building a pole barn, extended garage, or even a fence. You may find that your property line is smaller than what appearances make it look like.

Zoning is another important part of this search. If you have plans to build a pole barn, then you need to know if the zoning even allows for it.

4. Busy Roads

The house, itself, isn’t just important. When you want to buy a home, you also need to factor in the neighborhood. How busy are the roads? Is the traffic loud or quiet? If you have kids or pets, then having busy roads may concern you.

It’s always a good idea to visit the house during different parts of the day. Stop by during work hours, on the weekend, and at night to get a good feel for the neighborhood.

5. Flooding Problems

One final aspect that should be on your checklist is whether or not the house poses a flooding risk. Houses that are built on hills or on elevated ground are less at risk than those who live on slopes or at the bottom of a hill. As snow melts or rainwater collects, it may end up flooding your basement.

Mark Off Your Checklist

Checking the things on this checklist can help ensure you’re making a sound financial decision for your home. It’s easy to get swept up in the beauty of a home. This checklist will keep you grounded and ask the right questions. 

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